Frequently Asked Questions
How do you approach diagnosing and diagnoses?
I see diagnosing as a process that can assist folks as they navigate through various systems. When I work with people, I don't immediately approach our work with a medical, DSM, or diagnostic model. There are lots of different factors that influence how we show up in different situations, and I include that along with social, cultural, historical, familial, community, and environmental influences that impact how we feel and connect to ourselves and others. At the same time, sometimes a diagosis can be an important part of understanding a symptom or experience, and creating access to other medical services and care.
Historically and currently, diagnosis have been unequally applied to different groups of people, and are used for gategeeping purposes. I take an active position to try to reduce gatekeeping and harm with diagnosis whenever possible through using trauma and human-experience inclusive language, collaborating with clients about assigning and understanding a diagnosis, and providing resources and reframes to other sytems and providers if a question about a diagnosis or symptom arises.
There are some settings where I am required to be working with a diagnosis, such as when we are applying insurance, or if a system is reviewing our treatment. For these reasons, I typically apply a diagnosis to have on record. My records system is not connected to any central system, and can not be detected by any other system without a specific inquiry. Whenever I apply a diagnosis that might be connected to insurance or any other system, I will talk with you first and explore the options.
If you have any questions about the diagnostic process, we can discuss the options, and work together to create a plan you feel comfortable with.
How long are your sessions?
I typically hold 50 minutes sessions, and meet at the hour (1:00, 2:00 etc.) for each session.
What is your cancellation policy?
I have a 48 hour cancellation policy.
If I know ahead of time that we might need to cancel or reschedule, I don't charge the fee. For example, if you know you have a big event the following week, I usually say let's schedule our session and if you have to cancel that is OK, to give us the chance to meet if we can. We can discuss each situation as it comes.
Do you have a waitlist? Can I get on it?
I don't maintain a waitlist. I know it can be challenging to find a therapist or a great fit, and it can feel relieving to be on a list.However, my schedule can be unpredictable and I don't want scheduling or waiting to impact your ability to find an awesome therapy experience.
You are always welcome to reach out again and see if anything has changed, or seems like it might open up soon. If I expect a spot to open up, I am happy to schedule us in a few weeks to hold your spot.
What is up with the teapot?
The teapot at the top of my website tells many stories. It describes fires and feelings that build up inside of us, the ways in which those feelings and experiences get expressed and then interact with the rest of the world, and how strong and fragile they can make us feel at the same time. Also, I like tea!
Can we meet remotely? Can we meet in-person?
I am currently holding all sessions remotely.
When it is safer to return to meeting in-person, I will be offering 2 days a week in-person, and will be continuing to offer sessions remotely 2 days a week.
No matter which option we use, remote sessions will remain available if either of us are unable to meet in person. I will continue to post updates about in-person sessions as they become possible.
Can I bring my dog or (other animal) to sessions?
If we are meeting in-person, dogs and other animals are welcome to join us. Please let me know ahead of time if an animal will be accompanying you so I can make any needed arrangements.
Animals are welcome to join us in remote sessions as well, of course.
Can we meet if I am not in the state of California?
I am licensed to practice in the state of California, and I work with folks in California.
If you are outside of California, I can provide referrals to folks ocal to you when possible.
If you frequently travel or regularly are out of the state, we can discuss your plans and schedule and see if we can create a meeting schedule that accomodates your situation.
What are your payment options?
I primarily use Ivypay for payments. It is a secure, HIPAA compliant platform designed for therapy. It accepts all types of cards, including HSA and flex spending cards.
I also accept cash and checks, and we can come up with an alternate payment model if there is ever a time that we need to.
Can my partner/friend/family member attend sessions with me?
Yes, most of the time, you are welcome to bring folks with you to our meetings. There might be things you want to disclose that feel more comfortable to do in therapy, and there might be perspectives you want your community to voice or share. Before doing so, we can talk about what might happen when we all meet.
In general I will meet just with you, but sometimes partners, friends, and others have important roles in your world and working on something with them in therapy can be very useful. This is very different from relationship or couples therapy, where we are working on something for the relationship, rather than focusing on you and the people in your world.
How do you schedule appointments? Can I come every other week? Can we have a regular schedule? Can I come once a month? Can we schedule when I am able and available?
I start with the plan to meet weekly, and I try to keep my appointment schedule as flexible as possible. I strongly believe that a consistent rhythm best helps us build our relationship and get into the work we want to do. I have recurring weekly options, like Monday at 2:00, whenever my schedule allows it but these days we might need to start meeting at different times each week. If a set schedule doesn't fit into your world and schedule, we can keep a schedule that we find and set as we go.
While I start with planning for weekly appointments, we might be able to meet every other week depending on what you want to work on, and how we think that might work for both of us. If your primary motivator for meeting less frequently is financial, we can always talk about fee as I prefer to have a lower fee and meet when we want to then to make a schedule decision based on finances.
I acknowledge that because I do balance regular weekly meetings with weekly-scheduled meetings, every once in awhile I make mistakes. This doesn't happen often, but if it does, I will acknowledge it and will do my best to reschedule it or hopefully even fix it before the scheduled appointment.
If you have a complex schedule, we can discuss it and try to identify options that will make appointments accessible.